Thursday, March 12, 2015

Books in a strap

It is clear that until just a few generations ago, it was a universal standard in schools, from elementary to university, for everybody to carry their books around in straps, instead of in a bag.

Few people had too much money, and I'll bet books were not exactly cheap items since real mass production of binding was not standard yet... so why subject your books to bumps and the weather? Any old fabric back would be better than straps, and a leather bag would be tops.
Any ideas?


Anonymous said...

It was probably a "this is the way it's always been done" kind of thing. Or some nerd suggested a bag - but then, you know, it was a nerd, so...

emptyspaces said...

Don't worry Anon, the so-called nerds now rule the world, so you can stick it to the so-called jocks if it makes you happy.

To your question, Eolake, I don't know why the strap was used...but I love that look. I picture a kid in knickers and Buster Brown shoes raking a stick along a white picket fence on the way to school.

Anonymous said...

No, emptyspaces, they don't.

emptyspaces said...

Oh, no? Well perhaps you've missed the shift from the physical world to the virtual one...most of the folks who self-identify as nerds are the ones that got into computer science and got degrees and jobs writing code, building and maintaining networks and keeping the internet viable.

20 years ago it wasn't "cool" to play video games all day or call yourself a hacker, while today those are completely legitimate pursuits. We all owe the so-called nerds a serious debt of gratitude that our smartphones and social networks work the way they do.

The Hollywood cliche: the jocks were too busy getting laid to learn how to do any of these things. And for thousands of years, right or wrong, society tended to value the headstrong so-called jock over the meek, socially-awkward so-called nerd.

But now the tables are turned, we need our workforce to be smarter than ever and it is pretty hard to get by with only muscles and moxie. So don't be so defensive! I see a lot of this frustration you exude with your initial comment and since I'm old enough to have grown up in each era, I find it interesting.

Joe Dick said...

Hm, no, 20 years ago it most definitely was considered cool to play video games. I was in high school then. No one hid that interest. Most guys were into that.

Thing is, about "nerds" running the world. In a way, this has always been true. Engineers were always "nerds," they just weren't computer nerds. But they also didn't often look like a stereotypical nerd either. Often, they combined an interest (and often ability) in "jock" areas with their nerd interests/skills. There's no reason you can't be interested in sports and be good at math. But, that's always been true.

Oh, a you're confusing "nerd" with "geek."

emptyspaces said...

All good points, Joe...and it goes to show that it's pretty dumb to lump anyone into one group or another, isn't it? I was picking up on a vibe from the original comment that I find pretty myopic, and that I encounter a lot. A passive-agressive anger, if you will.

In general, don't we want the smartest people running things, anyway? Even if they also could hit a curveball or sink a three-pointer?